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Friday, January 24, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER Chapter 18 Kids Growing Up

Boy and His Dog
courtesy free clip art
With Jake’s wife joining him in the oil fields he wanted to leave all his dogs here except one pup and his bitch.  She had been with him for some time and he wanted to make sure she was well cared for.  

I had taken one of the litter, that had been out at Pa’s place part of the time when we were gone but I agreed to take another of the males and brought both of them to my place.

Mark was growing and was already six months old.  Bessie was four and Matt almost three.  Matt became the boss of both of the dogs and they put up with his shenanigans he played on them.

We made him stay in our big back yard where he would get covered with dirt while playing with the dogs.  He developed a strong friendship with them and they were very protective of him.  

One of the dogs was bitten by a rattle snake while protecting Matt from getting bit.  He killed the snake by shaking the life out of him.

He was a sick little puppy for a while but he eventually got well.  I was glad the dogs were with him and protected him from any perceived danger they concluded.

Our place was only forty acres just enough land for our horses to graze and run on.  Matt wasn’t supposed to do it but he would take the dogs out on the forty and say they were hunting for buffalo.  

Nan was scared he was gong to get injured or killed being out among the horses who were a bit skittish but they were friendly to Matt.  They would come up to him to be petted as they put their head down.

When the weather became inclement he would bring the dogs into the mud room out of the weather.  We couldn’t stop some of these bad habits of Matt and if we threw the dogs out he would go out in the rain with them.  Then he would crawl under the house where they were.

Both Nan and I were at a loss as to what to do with him.  I decided to ask Ma to come and stay with us and see if she could do anything with him.

Ma took him under her wing and wouldn’t let him get away with anything she told him not to do.  At first he would wail and cry for his momma but momma had enough of his disobedience and ignored his pleas.

After the first week he was obeying Ma and after the second week he obeyed both Nan and I.  Ma still let him play with the dogs for she said he needs them but there was no more going out on the back forty.

Ma said, “I have to get back to Pa for he is probably sick from eating his own cooking.”

Thing of it was she was missing him and wanted to get back to him for they were very close.

After Ma left, Matt wanted to be with me more than before.  We would sit in front of the fire place and I would tell him stories some true and some not.

We would bring the dogs in and they would sit near us and snore.  Matt thought it was funny but for me it was annoying.

Bessie was growing closer to her mom for they would make dresses for both of them and other girlie things.

Of course baby Mark was into his mom altogether for he was still nursing at least some of the time.  

Nan wanted to have a talk with me.  Anytime she made this approach I knew it was something she thought was serious.  A lot of the time it wasn’t that big of a deal to me but I would go along with her.  

She said, “I’m not ready to have another child right now.”

I said, “What are you suggesting we don’t have ... well you know what?”

She said, “No not that but I went to the doctor and he had several suggestions and I want you to go and see him and let him explain it to you.

I told her that was the last thing I wanted to do.

She said, “Well; let me tell you about one method that keeps you from getting pregnant and it is called abstinence.  This is something we can practice until you change your mind about going to the Doc.”  

She said, “I have been pregnant half of the time since I first got married and I want a break from that.”  

During the second week of abstinence I thought I should go see the Doctor just to see what he had to say.

When I got home I told Nan that she could decide what she wanted us to do.

She smiled, “I already have but I was just waiting for you to be serious about me for the present not having another child.  I am still trying to wean Mark and “Martha” will have to wait for a few years unless something unforeseen happens.”

When it came down to it I was just a bit embarrassed to talk to the Doc about something that private between a man and a woman and that was the reason for my hesitation.  I remember one thing the Doctor said and that there is more to life than just having kids and I agreed with that.

Everything is back to normal and Nan is more responsive than ever before.

I was buying more land from the railroad for I had sold a number of parcels already.  

There was a man who wanted to buy several of the smaller parcels at the end of Main Street.  When I asked him what his plans were for the lots, he wouldn’t tell me and said it wasn’t any of my business; so I refused to sell him the parcels.  

Angry Man
Free Clip art
He came back several times and each time he was getting madder that I wouldn’t sell them to him.  He sent an out of town man to try to buy them but I saw through that plan.

Finally he sent some toughs who threatened me with violence if I didn’t acquiesce to their demands.  I didn’t have Jake with me to back me up and I surely did miss him.

Due to their threats I sent Nan and the kids and the dogs to Ma’s place where they would be safe.  I asked Pa to arm all of the hands in case they got wind of what I had done.  It looked like there was going to be a showdown soon.

There was a large family, about twenty miles from town who were share croppers. They were seven boys and some girls.  Along with them being a large size people they were the meanest folks around.

They were so malicious that the sheriff wouldn’t go down to try to settle disputes concerning them.  I made a deal with them to come to town and be ready should I have any trouble.  I put them up in the feed store with their promise they wouldn’t steal us blind.  

I told them if they helped me out I would buy the farm they were working and give it to them so they would be owners instead of share croppers.  The man that owned the place wanted to sell it real cheap for he was scared of those folks and for good reason.

The time came when the man and his toughs came down to force me to sell.

When they started in on me the whole Quirk family poured out of the feed store barn; the father, mother, and all the kids.  They beat those toughs and the “hope to be buyer” to a pulp.  

We put them a box car and I don’t know where they ended up.  The train was bound for Mexico.  

I signed the deed to the farm over to the Quirks and they were a little friendlier after that.  I almost never saw any of them after they took care of my business and they kept their stealing from me down to their minimum.

I retrieved my family and we went back to living normally again.  Nan asked why I didn’t just sell the property to the man for that was the reason I bought it in the first place.  I told her I found out what he had planned for those lots.

He was gong to put up a gambling house with a large saloon and a house full of women whores.  I just didn’t want that in our town and I especially didn’t want to be a party to it.

Perhaps some would say “It don’t matter” but it does, doesn’t it?


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